What is the ‘sidewalk rule’ on TikTok? Relationship advice goes viral

Georgina Smith
Couple holding hands on the sidewalk with the TikTok logoUnsplash: Vladimir Kudinov

TikTok users are testing the quality of their relationships with the ‘sidewalk rule,’ with videos about the trend garnering hundreds of thousands of likes. Here’s what the rule actually is.

Short-form video app TikTok is home to all types of content, and that includes thousands of videos about relationships, from advice, to storytimes, and more.

Sometimes, people even like to ‘test’ the quality of their relationships through various different memes. In early 2022, the viral ‘strawberry question’ had people predicting how likely their partners are to cheat on them with a series of questions about a field of strawberries.

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Now, people are going viral with videos referencing the ‘sidewalk rule,’ with some saying “get you somebody who knows the sidewalk rule” — but some have been left baffled by the trend.

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Here’s what it actually means.

What is the ‘sidewalk rule’ on TikTok

In this context, the sidewalk rule essentially refers to the preference that when a man and a woman are dating, the man should choose to walk on the part of the sidewalk closer to the road, while the woman stands on the inside, as a form of chivalry.

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While some may think the gesture is outdated, videos talking about the rule have been getting hundreds of thousands of likes, with some users praising men who know the rule, and some guys boasting that they already know it.

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However, people out of the loop have been left baffled by the sudden influx of references to the rule, and some have even claimed that it’s been taking over their For You Pages.

TikTok has been full of confusing trends throughout 2022, with the brownie recipe meme and the ‘chupagetti’ trend plaguing comment sections across the app and frustrating many users.

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The ‘sidewalk rule’ certainly won’t be the last relationship trend to take over the app and garner millions of views in a remarkably short space of time.

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About The Author

Georgina was formerly an entertainment writer for Dexerto. She covered all aspects of influencer culture on TikTok and more, including creators such as Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae. She also wrote about hit reality shows such as Love Island and Below Deck.